Minister’s April Message
April 01, 2018
Most trips to the Holy Land contain a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem which is reputedly built over the sites of Calvary and the tomb where Jesus rose from death on Easter morning. The church remains standing because of steel scaffolding that supports its walls. The church is jointly owned by the Abyssinian, Armenian, Coptic, Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Each church tradition preserves its own chapel and conducts its own services. In the past, the leaders of these various church traditions have rarely communicated with one another and have been unable to reach agreement about how to keep the edifices of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in good repair. Even more ridiculous, each church tradition has found it impossible to trust any of the others with the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and they are entrusted to the care of two Moslem families.
However, last year, in a historic moment of unity, all the church traditions came together to restore the edifice covering what is thought to be Jesus’ original tomb. On Easter Day they signed an ecumenical message proclaiming the hope of Easter which said:
The sacred history of Jerusalem and particularly of the Holy Sepulchre, is a constant reminder for the whole world that, in this place and at a certain time, the Resurrection was proclaimed for all people and for all time.
It seems that the various traditions realized that the heart of their Christian faith did not lie in the ownership of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; instead it was found in the hearts of those prepared to live out their faith through Christlike actions and interactions in a world that too often believes in conflict rather than reconciliation.
So may the hope of this resurrection faith live in all our hearts in the name and for the sake of the Risen Lord Jesus that we, and many others, may know the blessing s of Easter this year and forever.
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